Visit to La Première Moisson

Yum!  The best toasts!

Yum! The best toasts!

On Friday, February 28th, I visited two plants in Montreal dedicated to making first quality bread products.  This is family owned business that only makes bread using specially sourced wheat from farmers in their home province of Quebec.  Their wheat is very clean although they do not claim all their products to be organic.

They make their own flour and it is unbleached and untreated. All the bread made in their plant in Dorion is kneaded by hand at least once. In addition they do not add sugar or fat as ingredients in their standard white loaf.

They use baker’s yeast and autolyse their flour first with only water.  They then use pretty long proofing times in order to further develop the gluten and build a perfect crumb. (Autolyse is a process by which flour is hydrated in order to quick start the development of the gluten strands).

In this plant they make many types of round loafs; white, whole wheat, sourdough, organic multigrain as well as many specialty breads featuring walnuts, chocolate, raisins etc…They also make croissants, danish, chocolatines to name a few.

In in the Baie d’Urfe plant they make all types of rolls, ciabattas, loafs and baguette. This is a highly mechanized plant which is a continuous process plant operating 24 hours a day doe five days a week.  The other two days are dedicated to cleaning and preventive maintenance.

The highlight of this visit had to be a stop in one of their 22 deli-boutiques which they have in the province of Quebec.  There one can order their charcuterie and buy their bottled products to bring home or order lunch made and served In house.  Wonderful deli meats of the highest quality made especially by them to their  exacting standards and their secret recipes.  Their bottled products ranged from vinaigrettes, pickles, jams to sauces and their ingredient lists were very pure and noticeably low in carbohydrates.

Friday night happy hour featured toasted baguette, cranberry onion relish and pâté foie gras that melted in your mouth! their products are worth seeking out. Our preferred bread at home, is the Premiere Moisson Michel campagnarde but don’t take my word for it. Try them all! At your local Co-op In Atlantic Canada or at one of Première Moisson’s boutiques in the province of Quebec

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7 Recipes – 7 chefs – 7 Cookbooks WEEK 1 Anna Olsen

7 recipes – 7 chefs – 7 weeks Week 1. Anna Olsen

What a wonderful cookbook!

Book1 of the 7 Book Odyssey

Book1 of the 7 Book Odyssey

This project’s main focus Is to get to know and use cookbooks from my collection which I have not yet taken the time to delve into.

An added bonus is trying out new recipes for old favorites as well as totally new recipes and techniques. I know I will find new favorites out of this experience. Today I made a wonderful porc terrine studded with dried cranberries and pistachios.

Moist and flavourful as well as a thing of beauty to behold. It made up really quickly. A wonderful bonus is that, well wrapped, it will keep in the freezer till the Holidays.

Easy Brandied Pork Terrine with Cranberries

Ingredients

3 cups diced stale white bread

1/2 cup whipping cream 2 egg whites ( not whipped

1 lb of freshly ground pork

1Tbs celery salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp nutme

4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp cumin

3Tbs Brandy

1/2 cup dried Cranberries

1/2 cup shelled Pistachios

1 lb prosciutto ham

Method

Soak bread in cream and egg whites in large bowl for one half hour Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Soak cranberries in brandy for five minutes

In food processor pulse ground pork and spices

Add bread mixture and pulse till well blended

Add brandy and pulse

Turn into bowl and stir in cranberries and pistachios.Line a 4.5 inch by 8 inch loaf pan with parchment paper

Layer prosciutto in pan covering bottom and allowing slices to hang over the sides. Spread terrine mixture in loaf pan.

Pork terrine with cranberries and pistachios

Pork terrine with cranberries and pistachios

Pork Terrine

Pork Terrine

Layer prosciutto in a cris cross pattern over terrine

Add a layer of parchment and cover with foil. Bake in oven at 325 for 60 minutes.

Allow to cool in pan Refrigerate before slicing

This recipe is delicious and is a definite keeper!

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7 New Recipes, 7 Cool Cookbooks in 7 Weeks

7 recipes – 7 chefs – 7 weeks

Well I’ve finally bit the bullet and decided to make better use of my cookbook collection. I’ve divided this project to make sure that I try new recipes – 49 new recipes in 49 days!
I’vepicked the chefs/books a each week I intend to try 7 recipes from each book.
I’ll give you my insights, ratings and potential changes as we wade through books by Michael Smith, AnnaOlsen Giada DeLaurentis, Jamie Oliver, Laura Calder, Ina Garten and the ladies from The Best of Bridge series.

7 Books for 7 Weeks

7 Books for 7 Week

I’ll make jams and chutneys; lamb, beef and chicken; salads, stews and soup as well as a few desserts. I’ll choose my recipes for each week toward the end of the preceding week in order to be able to get all the right ingredients. I don’t promise to make a recipe a day but rather 7 per week. Some days will be feast and others will be leftovers.

Follow me to see what I’ve chosen, how the finished product looks and how I’ve rated eac dish.my ultimate accolade will be that the recipe is a keeper.
I’m starting with Anna Olsen’s In The Kitchen with Anna. I met Anna and Michael Olsen in September on PEI during the Fall Flavours Apple Festival. They cooked up a storm and gave great tips on making light and fluffy potato pancakes to serve with smoked salmon and apple relish. Anna also gave out great tips on making prize winning pies.

Book1 of the 7 Book Odyssey

Book1 of the 7 Book Odyssey

 

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Crabapple Sauce

Hi there,

This week I have been busy preparing to be away for a month. One thing I like to do before I leave is put up excess produce. Last week I roasted 20 lbs of organic tomatoes and a few dozen red peppers. I also brought in all the parsley send made a great pesto with lots of garlic and organic lemon juice. So these past few days I made up pear crisps featuring dried cranberries, freshly grated nutmeg and almond slices. I like to use a mixture of brown sugar and white sugar both in the fruit and in the topping. It gives a deeper, richer caramel twist to the fruit. It was really good slightly warmed up -no ice cream required but – hey it wouldn’t hurt. I had to hurry to freeze it in small containers for my family to enjoy while I am away before it all got eaten. My last project was a nice homey crabapple sauce. I bought the crabapples on Canadian Thanksgiving so it was time to do something with them. You can see the pictures on my post about apple picking. I bought the crabapples for nostalgic reasons. My mom used to make wonderful crabapple sauce in the early fall. She seemed to find nicer smaller apples than these but the taste is just as I remembered!

Recipe Crabapple Sauce

Nancy's Crabapple Sauce

Nancy’s Crabapple Sauce

Ingredients

3 liters or 3 lbs of crab apples

6 cups of water

3 cups white sugar

1Tbs of cinnamon

1 tsp grated nutmeg

Method

Wash crab apples and remove blossom end, leaving stems and peel intact. Place in large heavy bottomed saucepan on stove.

Add in 6 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar.

Cook uncovered for 20 minutes at medium heat, stirring gently from time to time. Peel should remain intact but will soften and detach slightly from most of the fruit giving out some of the pulp. At the end of the cooking you will seem to have a syrup and apples, however after you have stirred a little longer and gently prodded the fruit … Voilà -applesauce.

Ladle into sterilized jars adding 1Tbs of organic lemon juice per 500 ml or two cups jar. I did not process in a hot bath because we will use it quickly. If you wish to process 15minutes should suffice. Yields 10 cups of crabapple sauce. Serve straight up or on toast. It’s a great way to start the day!

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Apple Picking

Thanksgiving Monday my sweetie and I went apple picking at our local U-Pick.

Sweetie and Chef

Sweetie and Chef

It’s called La Fleur du pommier, the photo below shows one of the four owners.

One of the owners La Fleur du pommier

One of the owners La Fleur du pommier

They have a great variety of prepared food products as well as a wide selection of fruits and vegetables harvested on their farms and orchard. They belong to a growers’ cooperative called Really Local Harvest. By consulting their site you can see who is growing what, where and how. You can see where the harvest is ready

Sign for Growers'sCooperative

Sign for Growers’sCooperative

An array of the products

An array of the products

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Filipino Cassava Cake -Chef Ilona Daniel

Filipino Cassava Cake Luscious has the texture of a  Creme caramel

Filipino Cassava Cake
Luscious has the texture of a Creme caramel

2 cups grated cassava
1 cup freshly grated coconut
2 eggs, beaten
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1.5 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
Preheat an oven to 350oF (175 degrees C).
Stir the cassava, coconut, eggs, evaporated milk, 1 full can of sweetened condensed milk, and coconut milk together in a bowl until thoroughly combined; pour into greased a baking dish.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Switch the oven’s broiler on, taker cake out of oven, and spread remaining can of condensed milk over top the cake, and broil until the top of the cake is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator before serving. Cut into small squares.

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Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian fellow foodies. Turkey day today but somehow I didn’t end up having to cook one. Our daughter’s wonderful in-laws had dinner for sixteen; a small group for them. It was a lovely meal and since my pies were made earlier this week I had time for other foodie adventures.

This morning started with processing a humongous batch of parsley which I harvested yesterday from ONE plant. All told I had ten overflowing and well stuffed cups of parsley once I had removed the stems.image
So I made Walnut Parsley Pesto. I made one recipe of Giada DeLaurentiis‘ recipe from Everyday Pasta. Tomorrow’s supper will be Capellini Piedmontese which features that pesto.

Walnut Parsley Pesto – Giada DeLaurentiis

From One Plant

From One Plant

Two cups lightly packed flat leaved parsley ( mine was curly)
3/4 cups toasted walnuts
1Tbs fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Place parsley, walnuts, thyme and garlic in bowl of food processor.
Pulse till well blended and very finely chopped.
With processor running slowly drizzle in olive oil.
Taste and adjust seasonings.

This turned out to be a delicious alternative to my usual basil pesto and just the ticket to preserve the freshness of all that lovely parsley.

Then I made four batches of my own recipe.

Ready to be Gifted, Eaten or Stored

Ready to be Gifted, Eaten or Stored

Walnut Parsley Pesto – Chef Nancy

Two cups well packed curly leaved parsley
3/4 cups toasted walnuts
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup grated Parmigiana
2 tbs pure, organic lemon juice
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp  ground pink Himalayan salt -really tasty and good for you
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Place parsley, walnuts, cheese, lemon and garlic in bowl of food processor.
Pulse till well blended and very finely chopped.
With processor running slowly drizzle in olive oil.
Taste and adjust seasonings.

I think the cheese and lemon juice add depth and zip to the flavour.
Since I got this done fairly early in the day I had time to go to one of the many U-Pick apple orchards in our region. It was a beautiful sunny day. Stay tuned for pics and a new – old recipe using crab apples. Should be up by tomorrow or Wednesday.

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